Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Zombies

ZOMBIE NIGHT-2013-Zombies rise out of graves and terrorize various residents of a town in this NOTLD rip-off from The Asylum (apt name). A guy named Patrick (Anthony Michael Hall) and his daughter (Rachel G. Fox) try to survive while trapped in a cemetery. Meanwhile a woman named Birdy (Daryl Hannah) and her blind mother (over acting Shirley Jones) hide in their house. Alan Ruck plays a guy who hides his family in a secret room. After the characters are established it's mostly them escaping several attacks and a lot of zombie head shots and head crushing. It has very gory effects (naturally) and some parts are well done (and sort of reminded me of an Italian gore film form the '80's) but there are some dumb parts with characters doing things that don't make sense.

The director John Gulager (son of actor Clu) made the equally bloody FEAST series of movies.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hugo Haas

ONE GIRL'S CONFESSION-1953-Mary Adams (Cleo Moore), curvy, platinum blonde waitress at a greasy spoon gets revenge on her boss (because he cheated her father) by stealing 25 thousand dollars from him. She confesses to the crime (but won't tell where she hid the money) and goes to jail. After she's paroled she gets a job working for cheerful gambling saloon owner Dragomie Damitrof (director Hugo Haas). She meets fisherman Johnny (pre-Amazing Colossal Man Glen Langan) and they fall in love. She debates using the the hidden money to help finance Johnny's fishing business (so they can live happily ever after). Although he's a lucky gambler somehow Damitrof loses his whole business in one night. Mary decides to help her boss by having him dig up the money and giving him 5 thou to save his hide. Unfortunately he doesn't find it. He throws her out. Later it turns out Damitrof still owns his saloon and has lots of cash. Hmmmm? Could this be a double cross? Did Damitrof actually find Mary's money and have the audacity to lie to her and keep it? With the door to his apartment left conveniently open Mary confronts her double crossing boss (in a drunken stupor) and winds up bopping him on the head and killing him! Bad move! Seems Damitrof wasn't using Mary's money. He got lucky in a card game and won everything back! She finds her money, gives it to an orphanage and turns herself in. The End....Well, not really. In the twist ending (like many Haas dramas), Damitrof didn't die, Mary gave her ill gained booty away but she probably lives happily ever after with Johnny.

Czech born actor/director Hugo Haas began his Hollywood acting career in the middle '40's and in 1951 directed his first of 20 B-movies. Many of them are moralistic melodramas sometimes using the premise of an older man (usually Haas) involved with a younger woman.

ONE GIRL'S CONFESSION's female lead Cleo Moore starred in seven Haas directed dramas. She was once groomed as Columbia Pictures' "new Marilyn Monroe" but despite her looks and decent acting skills her career never panned out and she retired in 1957, the same year co-star Glenn Langan would go down in B-movie history starring in Bert I. Gordon's THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Baby

THE BABY-1973-This is a weird one! Anne Gentry (Anjanette Comer) a social worker visits the family of Mrs. Wadsworth (Ruth Roman: in Curtis Harrington's THE KILLING KIND the same year), her two daughters Germaine (Mariana Hill) and Alba (Susanne Zenor) and her son called Baby (David Manzy) a full grown adult who acts like a baby. He can't walk, sleeps in a crib, wears a diaper, drinks from a bottle and has to be fed. After an "encounter" with Baby, a babysitter is whipped and beaten by the female trio. Anne, who seems to have lost her husband, becomes obsessed with Baby's welfare and development. Alba punishes her brother with a cattle prod and Germaine has sex with him. Tod Andrews (from FROM HELL IT CAME) plays a doctor who tries to help Anne and Michael Pataki plays a pot smoker who tries to pick up Anne at Baby's birthday party before she is drugged and tied up. Fortunately Baby helps her escape and she takes him back to her house when she leaves. Mom and her daughters invade Anne's house to get Baby back. It doesn't turn out too good for them. Anne stabs both daughters to death then buries (wth help from her mother) Mrs, Wadsworth alive!  In the surprise ending....well there is a surprise ending too.

The acting is very good especially from Ruth Roman (an actress who always looked like she was wearing wig) as the fanatical mother. The sicko story was written by Abe Polsky who also penned THE REBEL ROUSERS in 1970. The direction by Ted Post (HANG 'EM HIGH, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES) is also very good and there's a good suspenseful finale although the scenes when Anne and Wadsworth fight over an axe are kind of goofy. Mariana Hill was in HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and MESSIAH OF EVIL around his time.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Various Junk

I watch a lot of movies I shouldn't bother writing about. Here are a few of them!

PINK KILLER was made in Hong Kong in 1996. It was hard to follow since there were no credits in English and the sub-titles were very hard to read. It's about a group of women who take revenge on various bad guys (wife beater, gangsters, etc.). There's a few shoot-outs and car chases and slo-mo action scenes and a lot of talk. Charlie Cho Cha-Lee (PLAIN JANE TO THE RESCUE, POLICE STORY 2) is in it. I've seen two different directors credited for it.....So I also watched SEATTLE SUPERSTORM (2012) and you can probably guess what that was about. Two soon to be married scientists (Esai Morales and Ona Grauer) bicker over their kids who argue over everything while trying to battle some kind of man made super storm that kind of looks like "the smoke monster" from TV's LOST. It's a triple threat of bad acting, talky script and topsy turvy direction (by Jason Bourque the Canadian director of the similar DARK STORM)...
In a similar stormy Canadian vein there's SPACE TWISTER (2011) about a school science project gone wrong. Electrical storms from outer space destroy NYC and Boston (well, a news report says it anyway) and much of the story revolves around the survival of some teens who are in detention. I didn't know anyone in it except Mitch Pileggi. The story is fairly predictable and boring but the SFX and acting this time out aren't bad. Director/co-writer Sheldon Wilson also made SNOWMAGEDDON. Warning: This movie is now known as MEGA-CYCLONE! I guess Canada can't stop making bad horror and science fiction movies! SWAMP DEVIL-(2008)-A woman (Cindy Sampson) goes looking for her estranged father (Bruce Dern) after she's told he's gone crazy and killed someone. The real culprit is a evil Ent like creature who can take human form and uses roots to kill its victims. It's pretty boring and talky.

And finally there's: PROMETHEUS-20I2-I'd rather watch Ed Wood Jr.'s BRIDE OF THE MONSTER backwards than have to had to sit through this pretentious, tedious, idiotic 2001 rip-off disaster. A spaceship from Earth arrives at a far distant planet (the crew is in suspended animation) where it seems humankind began. Charlize Theron is the tight ass commander. An android named David (Michael Fassbender)) takes care of them. They are looking for some very tall beings and you'll be looking for another movie while watching this!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Your Kung-Fu's Good

THE SHAOLIN AVENGERS-1976-This Hong Kong produced martial arts period piece is based on the legend of Shaolin martial artists Fong Si Yu (Alexander Fu Sheng) and Hu Wei Chien (Kuan-Chung Chi). In flashbacks Fong is violently (and comically) trained by his mother (!) who beats him with a bamboo stick and dunks him in a vat of wine. Parts of it are very funny (a scene with a matchmaker is hysterical) and the Fong character does a lot of dumb things but basically the story is serious and violent. Director Cheh Chang made nearly 100 martial art movies including the classic FIVE DEADLY VENOMS.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014


SANDS OF OBLIVION (2007) is a pretty crappy TV movie that debuted on SYFY channel. It's actually based on a real event when Cecil B. DeMille finished making THE TEN COMMANDMENTS in 1923. The obsessed director had created a huge "city of the Pharaohs" in The Guadalupe desert around 170 miles north of L.A.  When filming was over he had the whole thing bulldozed and buried beneath the sand. Eventually artifacts began to appear and the place became known as "the lost city of DeMille". This boring production proposes that DeMille (played here briefly by THE SIMPSONS' Don Castellaneta) was a Mason and he buried some lost relic, (an "inverted pyramid) in the sands and some kind of jackal monster kills people.A giant cobra made of sand, an attack of locusts and a dune buggy car chase are the highlights and Academy Award winner George Kennedy has a small role as the guy kind of responsible for the mayhem. The initial plot is good but as usual it's undermined by bad acting, long stretches of talk and mediocre SFX. Director David Flores also made BOA VS. PYTHON and LAKE PLACID 2.

Two of the stars Adam Baldwin (as an archaeologist who overacts ("The Master has come for us!")) and  Morena Baccarin (as his ex-wife, also an archaeologist) had starred in the 2002 series FIREFLY. A TV actor Victor Webster is the hero who says things like "weapon up" and "walking meat puppet" and has to fight cardboard cut out ancient Egyptians!

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